Poksskaaksini Itsinssiwa Ki’tsa’komootsiisini
(Blackfoot Translation)

Blackfoot Translation by Connie Crop Eared Wolf and Eldon Yellowhorn
Written by Veselin Jungic, SFU, and Mark MacLean, UBC 

Illustrated by Jean-Paul Csuka, Canada

Small Number and the Basketball Tournament

Small Number is a young boy who gets into a lot of mischief. Twice a week, after school, he goes with his friends to the Aboriginal Friendship Centre. There the boys first have a snack and then they do mathematics for half an hour. Sometimes they do algebra in their workbooks, but usually they play mathematical games. They also love playing basketball in the Centre’s gym and wish to enter a tournament. Small Number demonstrates how a basic understanding of combinatorics can help in all aspects of life, even basketball!

Story Transcript: English and Blackfoot

small number and the basketball tournament

Maa Poksskaaksini iikatsiskiiwa. 
Small Number is a young boy who gets into a lot of mischief.

Itsstsoapii ami aakaitapissko. 
He lives in a big city.

Ihpokitaopiimii oksissta kii ami onssta, Mattsowookstaksini. 
He lives with his mother and his older sister Perfect Number.

Nato’kiiksistsiko’si maa Poksskaaksini itaitapoowa ami Niitsitapiiwa Otsitaohkannohpi’aawa. 
Twice a week, after school, he goes with his friends to the Aboriginal Friendship Centre.

Ohpokoomiiwa amiksi otakaiksi. 
He goes with his friends.

Ai’tto’tosaawa itai’naksooyiiyaawa, kii ita’po’tsimmiaawa amiisti naapiookstaksini. 
When they get there they have a snack, then they work on mathematics.

Anno’ko’takohsini niitaisama’po’takiyaawa. 
Half an hour they work.

Toksskaistsi ita’po’tsimiaawa okstakiaapo’taksini kii maa Poksskaaksini ikaiyahssikahtsi “Set”.
Sometimes they work on math games. Small Number likes to play “Set”.

Iikaittaami’tsima otaikkamohkooniisi nitsipo’takohto’piaawa. 
He enjoys finding patterns.

Ohkanaisskitsimiwa otsikohtsimaiksi. 
He always beats his friends!

Amiiksi saahkomaapiiksi isstohkannaitaami’tsimiaawa ki’tsa’komootsiisini. 
What the boys like the most is playing basketball.

small number and the basketball tournament

Itawaakomootsiiyaawa ami itawaakomootsiiyo’pa. 
They play at the Centre’s gym.

Niisoo amistsi itaisapohkomio’pistsi. 
There are four basketball hoops in the gym.

Amiiksi sahkomaapiksi akohtsiinaksissitapiiyaawa ami itawaakomootsiiyo’pi. 
The boys use a fraction of the court.

Naa Poksskaaksini isstohkanaikkaksiiwa amiiksi otohpokakomootsimaiksi kii iksikkamsiiwa. 
Small Number is the shortest boy in his group, but he is very fast.

Iikaiyikakima mahkohkitsiissto’tsikammssii amii otsitsowa’pakkaawa Omahko’taksskaksini kianniya isstohkanaikkammsiiwa. 
He tries hard to be as good a player as his best friend Big Circle, who is the biggest boy on the team.

Niitsitapiiksi otsitaiksisstsikomato’piaawa otsiitsitapiikoanso’waawayi aakitomahkakomootsiiyo’pa ki’tsa’komootsiisini kii amiiksi saahkomapiksi aista’yaawa mahkitsinnsa. 
On National Aboriginal Day there will be a basketball tournament and the boys want to enter it.

small number and the basketball tournament

Amiiksi akaakomootsiiksi naoao aakanistsitapiya iitomanistohkimmaiksi kii niooksaitapiiksi aakaisstsooksasiya. 
Each team must have six players but only three players play at once.

Naa Poksskaaksini naamanistsiitaapi aakohpokohkimmamiiwa. 
There are only five boys in Small Number’s group of friends.

Amiiski saahkomapiksi ihtsitomatapiipo’yiyaawa ami otaakamohpiaawa mahkohkitohsaapanistsiitapiihpiaawa. 
The boys start talking about who they might ask to be their sixth player.

Maa Omahko’taksskskaksini itaniiwa, “Aakksstsinaapssapio’pa maa matapii isspitaawa, ikammsiwa kii aohkinnohkommiwa.” 
 Big Circle says, “We need somebody who is tall, fast, and a good shooter!”

Amiiksi saahkomapiksi ihkaanaisapiitsiiyaawa kakitsaissksini’miayaawa ami itsitooma otaakkamohpiaawa. 
All the boys agree, but they can’t think of anyone to join their team.

O’toahkiassini maa Poksskaaksini ami oksissta otsitohkoissksino’ka otssohtsissii kii otsinsspapsini. 
 When Small Number comes home his mom notices that he is quieter than usual.

small number and the basketball tournament

Otsitaisopowahtsiisakkaiyi, “Iikiaapiwa?” 
“What happened?” she asks.

Aiyisstsiwatsi ami Poksskaaksini otomahtaipoiysai manistohkoyihpiaawa. 
She listen to Small Number’s answer.

Aiksistsistsiwatsi ami Poksskaaksini, ami okskistaa itsistsikksskiaakiiwa: “Ikksooksiwa? Isspitaawa? Kii ikohkinnohkommiwa? Aahkammitsstsi’pa annahkiaya aiyakssksino’wa?” 
After listening to Small Number his mother smiles, “Good? Tall? Fast? And a good shooter? I think we both know a person like that!.”

Ai’tappssapiiwa ami onnssta Mattsowookstaksini Maanaiksista’po’tsimma amistsi otsinakiapo’taksini, oksstakiapo’taaksini. 
She looks at his sister Perfect Number who is just finishing her math homework.

“Na’aa, kitsikakomimma!” 
“I love you, mom!”

Maa Poksskaaksini anniwa kii attatto’to’yiwa mii oksistaa. 
Small Number says and he hugs his mom tightly.

Maa Mattsowookstaksini aiyssammiwaaiksi skaisoimmitsitakiiwa. 
Perfect Number looks at them, very puzzled.

small number and the basketball tournament

Nii mattsiksistsiko maa Poksskaaksini itannistiiwa amiksi otakkaiksi, “Ahkonnsopohtsisataawa naa ninssta Mattsowookstaksini?” 
The following day Small Number says to his friends, "Why not ask my sister, Perfect Number?”

“Kii, akiikoan!” Maa Omahko’taksskaksini, oisskitsipahp nitsikkammohpi. 
“But she is a girl!” says Big Circle, feeling his heart beating a bit faster.

“Aa kitsimaani akiikoan kii ikksipitaawa, ikksikammisiiwa, kii iikohkinohkomii!” Amiksi saahkomapiksi ni’tsikkakoisskayaawa. 
“Yes, she is a girl but she is also tall, fast, and a good shooter!” the boys respond in one voice.

“Naa Mattsowookstaksini kammitsinaako’mo’tsiisi aakitsitsstsipa naatsipii amiksi isstakomootsiiksi kii mataakitsstsipa iisistsikoowa!” 
“With Perfect Number playing with us,” continues Small Number, “we can have twenty different teams on the court and nobody is ever going to get tired!”

small number and the basketball tournament

Maa Omahko’taksskaksini aksstsiksskinniwa. Kii itaniiwa, “Tsa akanistakkohto’pa moitsihka okstakiisinaakiatsistsi? 
Big Circle scratches his head and he says, “How can you calculate things like that?”

"Kii nitsitohkannaikkammssa, nitaakstsinaawako’mo’tsi nimataako’no’waissiko’pihpa.” 
“And, since I’m the best player, I have to play all the time!”

“Kianni kamaakanistsiisi, aakohkotsikaksikippitapiiyi amiksi aipo’takomo’tsiiksi kii kitsikakkomimmo’ka!” 
“In that case, we can have ten different teams on the court… And she likes you too!”

Maa Poksskaaksini aisskiyimmiwa kitsiistapokksskasiiwatsiiwa mii Omahko’taksskaksini, issko’kiitakkiwa. Miiksi otakkaiksi itahkannaomatapikkohsi’takiiyaawa. 
Says Small Number as he runs away from a very angry Big Circle while their friends start laughing.

small number and the basketball tournament

Tsa nitssksinimma naa Poksskaaksini kamitsinaakomo’tsiisii nii onnssta Mattsoowookstaksini kii niiksi otakkaiksi naatsipii amiiksi ihkanohkiimaiksi aakohotaakomo’tsiiyi aipo’tako’mo’tsiisa? 
How does Small Number know that if Perfect Number were to play with him and his friends, they would be able to have twenty different teams on the court during the tournament?

Credits and Acknowledgements
 

Voice:  Dexter Anakson of the Cree Nation - Piapot First Nation Band 
Sound: Sarah Van Borek, Simon Fraser University 
Music and Animation: Andy Gavel, Simon Fraser University 
Producer: Veselin Jungic, Simon Fraser University 
Director: Andy Gavel, Simon Fraser University 

Special Thanks To:

  • Barry Cardinal of the Bigstone Cree Nation 
  • Ozren Jungic, University of Oxford
  • Department of Mathematics, Simon Fraser University 
  • Department of Mathematics, University of British Columbia 
  • Faculty of Science, Simon Fraser University 
  • Office for Aboriginal Peoples, Simon Fraser University 
  • Pacific Institute For Mathematical Sciences 
  • The IRMACS Centre, Simon Fraser University 

This movie is part of the NSERC PromoScience project "Math Catcher: Mathematics Through Aboriginal Storytelling"